Monday, April 6, 2015
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I have some fond remembrances of the dog we had when we lived in New Jersey. See, there were few things that could make Missy, our dog, go bonkers more than her original master, our youngest son, coming home for a visit. She would literally dance in the hall when he walked in. This one particular time I remember pretty well.
They were having some master/dog time and our son picked up Missy's favorite toy, which was this beat-up little stuffed kitty. She would love to attack that thing and shake it violently. I suppose she might have been taking out all her latent hostilities. I mean it was cheaper than a dog psychiatrist, so I didn't mind.
Well, anyway, he was waving this toy at Missy, and normally she would come running. But this time she had a little problem. She had just picked up one of her dog biscuits. She had it in her mouth ready to chomp. Problem: She has only one mouth. You can't grab the toy and also eat the bone. Literally you could see the confusion in her eyes. My son decided to spell out the big decision for her, "Missy, you can't keep both. You have to drop one." She did. The toy won.
I'm Ron Hutchcraft and I want to have A Word With You today about "The Idol in Your Hand."
The choice that Missy was faced with on a doggy scale is not unlike a much more significant choice that may be facing you right now. It's the choice that was facing God's ancient people as they settled down in the Promised Land that God had given them.
Our word for today from the Word of God comes from Joshua 24:14-15. Joshua says, "Now fear the Lord and serve Him with all faithfulness. Throw away the gods your forefathers worshiped and serve the Lord. Choose for yourselves this day whom you will serve, whether the gods your forefathers served or the gods of the Amorites in whose land you are living. But as for me and my household, we will serve the Lord."
It's black and white - clear-cut choice here. Joshua basically says, "Look, you've got other laws, you've got other loyalties that are pulling on your heart, and you've got the Lord who wants your whole-hearted allegiance." Somebody says, "How about a little of both? Can I do some of each?" That won't work. It's just like our dog's choice that day with her master. You can't have both. You have to drop one. "Choose for yourself this day whom you will serve."
The truth is that there's another god competing for the best of your love right now, the best of your energy, the best of your time, or the best of your money. I'm not talking about some little statue in the closet. The most dangerous idols are much more subtle than that.
The question is has some other loyalty, some other love, some other pursuit, some other passion almost unnoticeably moved into the center of your life? Is your life really seeking first the kingdom of God? Does your calendar look like it? Does your checkbook? Do your daily choices look like your Lord is your number one obsession of your life? Or has someone or something else pulled you into another orbit?
Without realizing it, a very important person can become an idol in our life. Has she? Has he? Career goals can become our real bottom line, or money, or our children can even become another god. A dream can, even a ministry can. You may think you can have both your Lord and the other god, but the Ten Commandments boom out "You shall have no other gods before me."
The One who deserves the best of your love, and the best of your service is the Savior who held back nothing because of His love for you. Now, how can you stand at the cross where Jesus is dying for you and hug your idol any longer? Listen to your Lord. You can't have both. You've got to drop one. It's time to say, "Lord, forgive me for ever letting anything or anyone take your place in my heart. I've made my choice. It's you, Jesus. It's you."